A Memoir by Lisa Vaughn

Lisa was conservatively raised in a Catholic family in no-where middle America, where excitement is scarce and dreams are for sleeping. Little did she know, at age thirteen, she would suddenly find herself on a totally different path.

Through an unlikely chance meeting of a fellow classmate, she's surprisingly mesmerized, almost consumed, to befriend a girl who is obviously from the other side of the tracks...the cool side. Lisa does whatever she has to just to be accepted into this small club of coolness. Little did she realize, she was signing up for a lot more than social status. The two best friends find themselves innocently taking their relationship to a foreign level neither had experienced or saw coming.

A rollercoaster ride littered with choices and challenges Lisa never fathomed facing, especially in no-where middle America. She will find out what she is made of as she faces the consequences and struggles that come along with going against the grain.

Throughout their six year relationship, you will witness a touching story of human nature at its best...and at its worst. Showing just how far the human spirit can be challenged and pushed to a point where your “fight or flight” instincts naturally kick in. Struggling just to survive in a world where you are not like everyone else, but at the same time you really are. The daily struggles - both internal and external - are exhausting, yet necessary in their quest for one simple human need....love.

Finally breaking through all constraints that hold them back, reaching levels of one-ness that few actually obtain in a lifetime with their partner...only to find once they've reached that special place, it's not quite the right fit...for one of them, at least.

This contemporary story, told in the voice of the teen that lived it, will lead the reader through highs and lows, giving insight to the everyday challenges of the socially unaccepted, which will no doubt leave them rooting for the underdog. A true story of human resilience and the power of love...plain and simple.

*Please be advised, this memoir is real, honest, and raw. If you're looking for your typical 'sterilized' read, I'm not your girl - but if you're looking for a read that is written from the heart, certain to impact you on a human level, follow me! Have I got a story for you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Brush With Literary Genius: Stephen King!

Okay all you Cujo loving fans out there, this ones for you! (And really, who doesn't love Stephen King?)

WE all have that one story we break out at a party - sharing our experiences mingling with the rich and famous, our brushes with the elite.  Well, mine just happens to be with Stephen King!

Like I said in an earlier post, I am lucky enough to live on the gulf coast of SW Florida, which just happens to be the same spot where Mr. King spends his winters, or so I'm told. I won't go into details on exactly where, as I am a big supporter of privacy - but lets just say it's a nice quiet key in a slightly sleepy town that gets its share of tourist in season, but nothing compared to the bigger tourist cities. I frequent this particular key many mornings on my bike rides, marveling at the lush tropical landscaping and the multi-bazillion dollar mansions that line the gorgeous gulf coastline - far from my middle-class way of living, by the way. 

I have lived at my current location for about twelve years now, and have gotten somewhat accustomed to seeing Mr. King occasionally taking a morning stroll in his neighborhood  -  although I always do a double-take, still thinking - Hey! Was that...? He catches me off guard sometimes in his basketball shorts with knee socks, but the book in his hand is a 'dead' giveaway (uh, no pun intended!) - walking while reading...now there's a true lover of the written word!  We politely nod 'good morning', going about our morning routines. I've also passed him on a few bike rides, or caught him standing beachfront, drinking his morning coffee, as I jog by along the shoreline. All my Stephen King sightings were fun and exciting, but nothing holds a candle to time I ran into him at the grocery store - my first REAL encounter face to face!
It happened about ten years ago - long before I even thought, or had an inkling, that I would one day be an author myself. Back then my younger sister was the aspiring writer in the family, certainly not me. And her all-time hero and mentor? You got it - Stephen King. 

My husband and I had been boating all day and stopped by the store on the way home to pick up dinner. To say I was disheveled-looking would be an understatement. I had spent an entire day in salt water and scorching sun - I was tired, sun-burnt, and hungry - not to mention painful to look at in my sea-crusted bathing suit paired with an oversized t-shirt coverup. 
We dragged ourselves into the store agreeing to make it quick, splitting up to save time. Mid shop-a-thon my husband smugly approaches me exclaiming, 'Boy you really ARE blind as a bat!'...Huh? Seems Mr. King had just frequented the same aisle as I, and somehow I had missed this unexpected 'star-sighting'. Luckily my on-the-ball hubby had overheard Mr. King asking the stock boy where the soda's were kept. I immediately forgot my lack of energy (and appearance) and went to find the soda aisle myself, seems I just got a hankering for something carbonated. I find the master-of-horror summarizing his choices as I quickly pass behind him, confirming, YEP...that's him! Feeling like a star-struck looney (which normally I am not-really!) but hey, it's STEPHEN KING! I make note that he's a lot taller and intimidating than I thought, and oddly, no one seems to know who he is! As I round the aisle to share my glee with my husband, I notice he's mouthing the words, GO GRAB A COPY OF HIS BOOK!  Ask him to sign it for your sister! Oh man, what a GREAT idea! I frantically run to the front of the store where all the books are kept and grab his latest and greatest at the time (which I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember which one it was now! But it had a bluish cover I think, and was spooky looking...duh) I'm halfway back to where I had left him when I realize I didn't have a pen or anything that resembled a writing tool. Damn! I take off again, tearing down each aisle frantically looking for office supplies, or that smashed stray pen on the floor...ANYTHING!  My heart is pounding as I fear he might already be at the check-out, and my golden opportunity lost. I ditch my unsuccessful search, telling myself I can borrow a pen off a cashier if nothing else. Times a wasting! Luckily I find him in the magazine section...READING! What else?! Whew! I hesitate for a second (what WAS I doing!?) but then imagined my sister's face when she receives this unique gift. Without thinking of how my appearance or matter of approaching him might look, I boldly step up to him. "Excuse me, Mr. King? Hi, I don't mean to bother you, but my sister is an aspiring writer and YOU just happen to be her hero! Would you mind signing a book for her?" (I've cut out all the stammering and noticeable octave change in my voice to spare my ego at this point, after all, I AM standing in front of him in crusty beachwear and matted hair, I think that's enough humiliation for a lifetime) I had no idea what his response might be. Would he ignore me? Tell me to get lost, stop stalking him, call security? I didn't care - I had already committed at this point, might as well go down with the ship! But much to delight, he was very gracious, and surprisingly humbled by me asking for his autograph. I had found a pen and I shakily handed it to him as he asked what my sister's name was. He opened the front cover to expose the first pages as he fluidly inscribed 'To Sue - Keep Writing!' Stephen King. I could almost see my sister's wide grin as I stood there in disbelief. I couldn't believe I had pulled this off, and he was SO cool. I expressed my gratitude and decided not to invade his privacy any further -  I left him to finish his magazine browsing. 

We finished up our shopping - as I floated on air, proud of my tenacity and accomplishment. Heading towards the front of the store to check-out, guess what we see? Mr. Stephen King in line...and WE will be next! If we hurry. Suddenly our cart becomes turbo-charged as we slide up right behind my new BFF. Two close-encounters in one day! How lucky were WE? As we nonchalantly put our items on the belt -  uh behind MR. KING'S groceries, I might add - we are surprised by idle chit-chat between us and our new horror buddy.  I recall he was particularly amused at a tabloid that was slamming Michael Jackson at the time, dubbing him 'Wacko Jacko'. Stephen picks up the rag and reads it aloud shaking his head, explaining to us that he had just wrapped up a project with Michael and that, yes, Michael Jackson is a 'Wackjob'. I immediately recite the phrase 'Pot calling the kettle black' in my mind and crack a smirk. We laugh as he settles up with the cashier. Staring at him like a zombie, I suddenly exclaim out loud , "Oh, I can't forget to pay for this!" as I remembered the book I had clutched to my chest for safe keeping. Without missing a beat, he looks back at me and says, "Yeah, don't you dare forget, there's a whole nickel in it for me!"
We 'LOL', and I think, yeah right...there goes a man who has got to have more money than God, who's he kidding? Well you know what? I'm since a published author myself, and somehow I now think he wasn't joking! But then again, I recall seeing him take off - with his bottles of soda - in a fancy, silver two-seater sports car, headed towards his gulf-front estate...and all I can say now is, 'Man, that's a LOT of nickels'!    

Thank you Mr. King for giving me such cool memories of you! You are overly kind and warm to your fans, and if ever I run into you again, first,I hope I'm better groomed - and second, if you ever sign another book for me, I'm keeping it for myself!

P.S. My sister treasures the book you customized for her. She had it framed and displays it proudly! 

~The End~


  1. What a great story! Thanks for sharing. I admire Mr. King too. I am not sure I'd have the courage to walk up to him, but I'd hate myself if I didn't.

  2. That is such a cool and amazing story, thanks for sharing! My favourite part is the bit about the nickel royalty.

    Ah, to meet Mr. King in person...

  3. Awesome story! My husband is going to be so jealous!!

  4. Great story. Kurt Vonnegut used to buy cigarettes at the newstand in the building where I worked. But it does not compare with your Stephen King story.

  5. That is so awsome, and even better that he was nice. Sooo jealous

  6. Lisa, that's a wonderful anecdote. My brush with Stephen King was when I wrote on his blog, asking to use a quote of his, adding a line of my own and making it MY quote. His assistant wrote back, saying he didn't remember that quote but I was free to use it in the front of my book: The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley.

    But my BIG BRUSH WAS WITH CLINT EASTWOOD when I was a starry-eyed young journalist and interviewed him for the East San Jose Sun newspaper. The picture on this Google account is of me with Clint "back in the day." I published that meeting and my meetings with Jane Russell, Ted Kennedy, Tanya Tucker and a few others in DREAM REACHERS book (with co-author Chase Von). In DREAM REACHERS II I interviewed Al Pacino's step-mother, Katherin Kovin Pacino (actress/singer/producer), Quentin Tarantino's father Tony (actor/director/producer), Bryant McGill and many more.

    I have 5 books in print (3 E-books for $4.99 each). Since John Locke and J.A. Konrath both advise to get a freebie and/or a 99-center out there as a lure, I'm currently working on publishing my Clint story and some others in a small e-Book for 99 cents.

    Lisa, you should put this anecdote and some of your other very clever, interesting ones in a short e-Book as your lure to your longer novels. I would buy it in a minute.

    Best with all your novels,

    Hugs - Betty Dravis

  7. That's a great story! It's so nice when the famous folks act like regular people...which they are! Your tale is well told! All the best...Jo

  8. Great story! Thank you for sharing it. I hope some day people will be as excited to meet me.

  9. Great story... How lucky... I am jealous!
    Have a super afternoon!


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